Most rowers wear gloves while they are competing, but not the crew at Murray State.
“Gloves are for the weak,” said Brittinee Jones junior from Louisville, Ky and a member of Murray State’s rowing team.
Rowing is a sport that requires work of both the mind and body. Murray State’s rowing team trains throughout the year to sculpt their skills.
Rowing at Murray State is a club sport, this means the students are not eligible for athletic scholarships. To help fund the club, the members must pay dues to compete and alumni chip in with donations.
The members must have a personal desire to succeed because they don’t have the pressure of doing a paid job.
“You have to want it for yourself, and your team,” Jones said.
Rowing is a team sport. It takes eight rowers to put a team together.
“To me the best part of rowing is the competitive nature of the sport and the camaraderie between teammates,” said Marshall Watson, junior from Paducah, Ky.
The crew usually practices inside Carr Health Building during the fall season and when the spring weather hits, the team goes on Kentucky Lake to row on the water.
The crew uses ergometers to strengthen their skills. Ergometers are machines used to simulate rowing on the water.
Most people think that rowing is mostly strength from the arms but the truth is rowing is all in the legs.
The University of Louisville and Murray State have the only two collegiate rowing teams in Kentucky.
Even though Murray State does not offer scholarships, the team considers it an accomplishment that a club sport like the rowing team can compete at a Division 1 level.
The rowing team does not have the luxuries that other crews have, such as a dock, but that has not prevented them from prevailing over those that do.
They have more obstacles than other crews, but they still come out on top of their competition. Making excuses is not something these rowers are in the habit of doing.
Rowing may not be a contact sport but it takes immense amounts of time and preparation. Jones said being part of the crew is like taking on another class, and she compares rowing with any other university-funded sport.
The crew is made up of 50-70 members, including men’s and women’s teams. Recruitment starts in the fall semester.
Story by Da’Sha Tuck, Staff writer